San Jacinto Reenactment: Sam Wins Again.

On April 21, 1836, the original Battle of Jacinto delivered Texas independent of Mexico in less than eighteen minutes. On April 16, 2011, on the 175th anniversary, Texas won again.

“Well, son,” said the obviously Hispanic father standing next to me at the reenactment battle’s end to his 8-9 year old son, “that one made it Houston 1 – Mexico 0.” Everyone enjoyed a good laugh. Unfortunately, or fortunately, the man left no scoring updates from more recent times.

Saturday’s celebration was not the commemoration of a racist Anglo/Hispanic division, which it really isn’t, but an honorable presentation of how the “Texian” residents of the Mexican Province of Texas rallied together in the early 19th century, Anglo and Hispanic alike, to free themselves from the tyrannical control of Mexico’s political dictator, General Santa Ana. Much earlier, Santa Ana had thrown out the Mexican Constitution of 1824 so that he could rule the country with a solitary and power/greed-driven iron hand and the Texians who settled this vast area to the north had rallied together under the leadership of General Sam Houston to resist that control and to avenge the losses of their comrades in arms at LaBahia in Refugio and the Alamo in San Antonio.

"I would give no thought of what the world might say of me, if I could only transmit to posterity the reputation of an honest man." - Sam Houston.

In a famous strategy called “The Runaway Scrape,” Sam Houston had lured Santa Anna’s much larger army east from San Antonio on a cut-and-run path that eventually would lead to its ultimate defeat on the plains of San Jacinto in the late afternoon battle of April 21, 1836.

Santa Ana was defeated and forced to sign a document that freed the people of Texas to form their own nation and, in the process of establishing their freedom to form the nine-year history of the Republic of Texas (1836-1945), it made Texas the only state that ever later joined the United Sates as a former nation unto itself.

All of that history was celebrated again yesterday by people of all discernibly different racial and ethnic backgrounds. On a day that also featured great Texas food, music, arts, and crafts around the base of the San Jacinto Monument, a good time was had by all.

 As most of you already know, Texas ceded away much of its land when it joined the United States of America in 1845. That extra land included portions of current states New Mexico, Colorado, and Wyoming. When Texas entered the Union in 1845, it retained for itself, as the then largest state by area, the right to later subdivide itself into five separate states, each with their own set of two senators.

Don’t hold your breath waiting for that one to ever happen. The strength of Texas is in its people, it size, and in its mystique of the Lone Star. You don’t throw all that away, even for the sake of particularizing special interests power through a handful of new senators.

Beautiful Texas!

Beautiful, beautiful Texas,

Where the beautiful Bluebonnets grow,

We’re proud of our forefathers,

Who fought at the Alamo.

There are some folks who still like to travel.

To see what they have over there,

But when they go look,

It’s not like the book,

And they find there is none to compare,

With beautiful, beautiful Texas.

– excerpt from “Beautiful Texas,” a song written by former Texas Governor Pappy Lee O’Daniel.

San Jacinto Monument

You can live on the plains or the mountains,

Or down where the sea breezes blow,

But you’re still in beautiful Texas,

The most beautiful place that I know.

– O’Daniel.

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3 Responses to “San Jacinto Reenactment: Sam Wins Again.”

  1. mike Says:

    Bill,
    Always love to see the promotion of Texas history. I do feel compelled to make one minor correction. The battle at San Jacinto in 1836 took place in the late afternoon.

    • Bill McCurdy Says:

      Thanks, Mike. I really do know better, but am occasionally taken over by brain freezes. I’ve made the correction in the main body of the post from the “early morning” time frame I first gave it. – Just so you readers know what Mike was talking about before I cleaned it up to its true starting time.

  2. Patty Tristan Says:

    Excellent article! Most don’t get it right, but you did.
    My husband, son, and I were there Saturday, reenacting in Mexican army camp.

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